NewsNet manager on leave from work during a review

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The general manager of BYU NewsNet, James Kelly, has been put on a 3-week paid administrative leave after a former NewsNet employee filed an informal complaint against him.

In a routine e-mail communication from Communications Department Chair Ed Adams, Kelly said he was asked to notify a female employee that it was against university policy to bring her baby to work. Two weeks later, she quit, citing the inability to find child care, Kelly said.

Kelly said he was contacted in early February by BYU?s Human Resource and was told there was an informal complaint about a conversation in which the person alleged Kelly had said women should not work.

?I would never say anything like that,? Kelly said. ?My wife has been a practicing attorney for 25 years and I have always supported her in her career. Anyone who has known me for 30 seconds knows that I would never say that women should not work.?

In order to allow a thorough review process, Adams put Kelly on paid administrative leave from Feb. 15 until March 8, to look at the issues raised in the informal complaint. Any other issues that may be in the complaint haven?t been identified.

Kelly said he looks forward to participating in any investigatory process.

?During nearly 30 years as a journalist and a publisher, no one has ever alleged misconduct by me in any kind of professional or personal capacity,? he said. ?I have done nothing wrong.?

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said as per BYU protocol, any employee review would include involvement by BYU”s Human Resources.

Adams said an audit is also taking place alongside the investigation. He said it is a recommended financial overlook and something he welcomes.

The Communications Department had an academic reaccredidation two years ago and has been overdue for a financial audit, Adams said. He said since there is one review going on, it is a good time for a business review as well.

Until Kelly returns, Adams will serve as interim General Manager. Kelly has been in charge of BYU NewsNet, a laboratory for the Communications Department”s print, broadcast, Web and radio operations since Fall 2001. The Daily Universe is a part of BYU NewsNet.

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